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Live in Cook County Jail

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Album Review

B.B. King has cut a lot of albums since the success of Live at the Regal. And, like the live shows they document, none of them are any less than solid and professional, hallmarks of King's work aesthetic. But every so often B.B. truly catches fire; his playing and singing comes up an extra notch or two, and the result is a live album with some real sparks to it. Live in Cook County Jail is one of those great concerts that the record company was smart enough to be there to capture, documenting B.B. firing on all cylinders in front of an audience that's just damn happy for him to be there. Possibly the best live version of "The Thrill Is Gone" of all its many incarnations, and rock solid renditions of classics like "Everyday I Have the Blues," "How Blue Can You Get?," "Sweet Sixteen" and a great medley of "3 O'Clock Blues" and "Darlin' You Know I Love You." Live at the Regal is still the champ of King's live output, but many say this runs a close second, and they just may be right.

Biography

Born: 16 September 1925 in Indianola, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Universally hailed as the king of the blues, the legendary B.B. King was without a doubt the single most important electric guitarist of the last half of the 20th century. His bent notes and staccato picking style influenced legions of contemporary bluesmen, while his gritty and confident voice — capable of wringing every nuance from any lyric — provided a worthy match for his passionate playing. Between 1951 and 1985, King notched an impressive 74 entries on Billboard's R&B charts,...
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